The internet age was supposed to create and encourage efficiency but research shows it has morphed into a real time waster and productivity reducer for many. We all know the horror of returning to our desks after some time off to see a hundred plus emails all wanting the most immediate attention.
There are ways to curb this onslaught and use this technology more effectively. Here are some common time wasters and ways to become better users:
- Copying too many people which results in the over use of “reply all”. Omit those people who don’t really need to see the email.
- Writing responses because of the fear of offending a colleague. Many don’t want or need a response.
- If a response is needed keep it short with the caveat “if you need further information please let me know”.
- A brief personal conversation and/or phone call could replace an email saving a good deal of time in the writing and the response to it.
- Investigate the use of Project management applications which store files in one place online where all employees can see, update or comment as needed. This reduces emailing and wasted time attending meetings. A few such apps are Task, Clarity and Basecamp.
Becoming more adept in email use will free up a good deal of time which can be used more productively in your organization and will give you more time to focus on your personal life.
Author: Dave Blankenhorn, Executive Coaches of Orange County, www.ECofOC.org